Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Does Conventional Medicine prefer patients to die rather than refer them to Homeopathy?

Does conventional medicine prefer patients to die rather than refer them to Homeopathy?
Does conventional medicine prefer patients to suffer rather than offer them another treatment?

This might appear to be an extreme question, perhaps even a silly one to some people. Yet any cursory examination of conventional medical practice has to answer with a clear and definite "Yes".

So let's examine the evidence. During the past few months I have been writing my Why Homeopathy? e-book, which seeks to compare conventional with homeopathic treatment of a variety of illnesses and diseases. Although when setting out on the project I knew that conventional medicine had little to offer when compared with homeopathy, I did not expect to find, time and time again, illness after illness, that conventional medicine frequently and openly states

  • that it does not know what causes a particular illness or disease
  • and that they have no treatment for so many of these!
On each page of the book I always use the NHS Choices website to ascertain what conventional treatment is for each of the illnesses I research. This is a highly reputable agency within the UK's conventional medical establishment so its descriptions are authentic, definitive statements.
  • ADHD. "there is no cure for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder".
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis. “There is no cure for ankylosing spondylitis..."
  • Arthritis. "Osteoarthritis cannot be cured...."
  • Autism. "There is no cure for the condition...."
  • Blepharitis. "The condition cannot usually be cured...."
And so it continues, for an amazing number of illnesses that have now been covered in 'Why Homeopathy?'. All conventional medicine can claim to do for so many of these conditions is to enable the patient to live with it, or to treat specific symptoms, or to provide pharmaceutical drugs, with all their inherent dangers, for the rest of our lives.

Given that homeopathy can treat and cure almost any condition I was surprised to discover the extent of this failure. But then I began to wonder about more deadly diseases, ones that ended, inevitably, in the death of the patient? I cast my mind back to a situation that occurred soon after I had qualified as a homeopath. A man had contracted Rabies, and this made national news headlines. This is what I wrote about the situation soon afterwards.

A Case of Rabies
I remember in about 2002 listening to news story about the man in Dundee who contracted Rabies from a bat. He was treated in hospital, presumably by conventional medicine, and it was reported that 'there was no cure' for this condition, but they were making him "as comfortable as possible".

I wrote to the Department of Health asking whether anyone within the health service in Dundee had bothered to see whether there was any traditional therapy for the condition, and in particular, whether they had contacted a homeopath in the area. I pointed out that homeopathy treats 'like with like' using substances in high dilution/potency, and that the remedy Lyssinum was made from the saliva of a rabid dog.  I said that, if asked, any homeopath could have tried this remedy, or indeed several others used by homeopaths for the treatment of this disease.

The response I received was that was a matter of patient confidentiality, and the could not give me the information I required.

The man’s death was announced a few days later.

It is extremely unlikely that any homeopathic treatment was requested or tried in this case, despite the fact that homeopathy is used regularly to treat rabies in Eastern Europe, and elsewhere in the world.

The only assumption I could draw then, and now, was that when people contract illnesses that conventional medicine cannot cure, absolutely no effort is made to check with other medical therapies about whether they are able to treat the condition – even when, as in this case, death was the outcome!

There are probably not many people in Britain who die of rabies, but there are many serious illnesses and diseases that do kill patients, many of them conditions for which conventional medicine has no successful treatment.
  • Cholera, where treatment is limited to oral rehydration.
  • Haemophilia. "There is no cure for haemophilia..."
  • and many others.
In addition, there are many other deadly conditions that are only treated with antibiotic drugs, resistance to which is rapidly becoming total. Or treated with drugs with dangerous side effects. When this happens, the conventional medical establishment just throw in the towel.
  • Doctors tell us that an illness is 'terminal', that the patient will die. 
  • There is nothing further that can be done for them.
As I have often said, such statements mean only that there is nothing further conventional medicine can do for the patient. So when this happens, do conventional doctors refer patients on to other medical therapies, such as homeopathy? Never. As with the man who contracted rabies and died, patients with terminal illness are left to die. There is an assumption that if conventional medicine cannot cure an illness, no-one else can!

This is lethal medical arrogance! They might be correct, after all we all die, eventually, of something. And no medical therapy can save everyone from everything at all times. Yet homeopathy has the distinct advantage of recognising the principle of 'treating like with like'. So to make a homeopathic remedy with the saliva of a rabid dog is a potential cure for rabies. But apparently it is not one that conventional medicine is prepared to offer its patients.

In fact, there are several remedies that homeopaths have used for the treatment of rabies, and some of these remedies are outlined in the Dr Makkar Family Clinic website.

For any doctor, or any medical system, to claim that they have a monopoly on effective medical treatment, for any illness, is unacceptable. For anyone to do so, especially when they realise that they have nothing else to offer a patient, especially when that patient will die, is inexcusable. 

Nor is it just death. It is also conditions that cause constant, permanent discomfort and pain. It is conditions that patients have to suffer from, for a lifetime, without the prospect of relief. Maybe there is nothing further that conventional medicine can offer for these patients, but quite clearly it is not prepared to offer anything else, even when that 'something else' might be more successful.

Perhaps especially if that 'something else' might be more successful. Conventional medicine never offers itself up for comparison. It has a dominant role in most health services around the world. If homeopathy did, actually, cure a case of rabies, when conventional medicine couldn't what would this tell people? It is best that people are allowed to die!

Yet this is what conventional medicine does, throughout the world. They tell us that their medical system is the only one based on 'science'. They tell us they are winning the 'war' against disease. They announce new wonder drugs, miracle cures, almost every week. It is as if conventional medicine cannot admit failure, or even take a chance that another medical therapy might be able to do something they cannot do! So patients suffer and die without any thought of referring them on.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Viagra. Now on sale without a doctors prescription

Many people believe that when pharmaceutical drugs are on sale without a doctor's prescription they are safe. Well, now the UK's drug regulator, the MHRA has decided the make Viagra, the male impotence, or erectile dysfunction drug available 'over-the-counter'.

I wrote a blog about Viagra in November 2014, "Viagra? An erection at any cost to our health?" in which I outlined the quite horrendous number of serious side effects of this drug. So if any man is about to rush to the local chemist to buy it perhaps should read about these side effects first.

Amongst much else, the drug is known to cause

  • confusion (the precursor to dementia)?
  • convulsions and seizures (the precursor to epilepsy)?
  • deafness and hearing loss
  • vision impairment, even blindness
Your doctor won't tell you about any of this (and won't even need to keep it from you now). All pharmaceutical drugs are dangerous, whether doctors prescribe them or not. They exist to make the drug companies rich, not for our health, and should all be avoided at all costs.

It would also appear that our drug regulator has no interest in patient safety, which in fact is the only reason for their existence. It would appear that there is no-one out there interested in protecting us from the pharmaceutical industry!

Monday, 27 November 2017

Okay! I think vaccines are harmful, so now I'm a Russian Agent! What has happened to the health debate?

Yesterday I posted several of my blogs on the MMR vaccine, and its links to the creation of Autism as a disease. Today the mainstream media is saying that I, and many other people of like mind, am repeating Russian lies, spreading false information about the flu, measles and other vaccine. The Mirror seems to be leading this story, but the rest of the mainstream media, the Sunthe Express, the Telegraph, and of course the BBC, are joining in.

They all provide the story, with the same words, almost identical headlines, which suggests that they are, as usual, singing from the same hymn sheet, the same press release, the same propaganda. "UK lives in DANGER because of Russian propaganda and fake news over MMR jabs" states the Express. They continue.

               "Experts have previously warned that Russian President Vladimir Putin's government has been trying to erode trust in US and European Governments by spreading lies on social media and 'fake news'. But now it is feared the Kremlin is using the same techniques of misinformation over flu jabs and the MMR measles vaccine. This is all about destabilisation by external forces. War is ever changing and becoming much more cyber-based. For generations, governments in the UK and the West have been extremely worried about destabilisation from external forces." (My emphasis).

Apparently these are the words of Chris Phillips, former head of National Counter Terrorism Security Office, who said it has become "a threat to daily life". The Express article then quotes Public Health England, and the Royal College of GPs, who have "repeatedly expressed concern" over the amount of 'fake news' shared on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

So clearly I am a Russian agent, an external force, spreading misinformation, fake news, and causing destabilisation, and eroding trust in US and European Governments! 

Or am I? Are my blogs 'misinformation', 'fake news'? Or is the underlying problem here the censorship of the media's coverage of important health issues?

Underlying this whole story are people, like myself, who genuinely believe that there is clear and undeniable evidence that the MMR vaccination is causing harm to children, particularly in creating the new disease of Autism. My concerns have been around for decades,  and particularly since the late 1990's. But then, in the early 2000's there were several studies that proved conclusively that there was no link between the MMR vaccination and Autism. Since that time, the mainstream media has refused to cover the concerns, there has been no further coverage, debate has ended.

So has the issue gone away? No, it certainly has not. Those who question the safety of vaccines, all vaccines not just the MMR, have used the social media to raise important and ongoing safety issues that arise, and we have done so mainly because the mainstream media have refused to do so.

So let me make an offer to the security forces, to the pharmaceutical industry, and to the mainstream media. I will take down this blog, and stop posting on social media, if the following issues are fully and openly discussed in future, as and when necessary.
  • If vaccines are entirely safe, why are so many victims of vaccine damage paid $millions by the US Vaccine Court after they have suffered vaccine damage?
  • Why have governments around the world given the pharmaceutical industry indemnity against any legal or financial claim for compensation?
  • If it is not vaccines, what is the cause of the epidemic rise in Autism, why is a disease unknown in the 1940's now affecting at least 1 in 10 children?
  • Why has the author of an important study that 'proved' there was no link between the MMR vaccine and Autism admitted that he and his team destroyed evidence that would have proved otherwise? Why has this never been discussed in the American Congress?
  • How effective is the flu vaccine, when for the last several years after flu seasons studies have shown that it has only minimal effectiveness?
  • Why is the health of so many fit, healthy, normal young girls been so completely compromised and destroyed after they are given the HPV vaccine?
  • Why is it that when there are outbreaks of mumps and measles it is vaccinated children who contract the illness rather than the unvaccinated?
  • Why is it that so many older people, and now so many younger people, suffer with dementia? Is the research that links dementia with annual flu vaccines correct?
These are just a few of the non-debated questions about vaccine safety. There are many more that should be discussed by the mainstream media. BUT THEY ARE NOT DISCUSSED. There is silence. Media organisations refuse to engage in the health debate. Why?

Wherever there is division, or disagreement or debate in society, a genuinely 'free' press would want to discuss the issue. They would examine the arguments of both sides. They would ask questions of both sides of the argument. They would ensure that they are brought together to debate the issue. Yet in matters of health this has not been done for the last 20 years. So many people accept these vaccines without any engagement in the debate about the issues. They have never looked at the pros and cons. They have never been made aware of the issues. MOST PEOPLE, AS A RESULT, ARE QUITE UNABLE TO MAKE AN INFORMED CHOICE.

The evidence against vaccines cannot never be discussed in any mainstream media platform. We are routinely denied access to those platforms. We have to resort to social media, not because the evidence is weak, not because it is 'fake' news, not because it is disinformation, but because they are the only platforms available to us.

And now we are accused of spreading false information that puts people lives in danger! We would argue that lives are placed at risk because people are not warned of the dangers of vaccination. So who is right? The issue is never argued. Governments tell us that vaccines are safe. The pharmaceutical industry tells us that vaccines are safe. The conventional medical establishment tells us that vaccines are safe. The mainstream media goes along with them, slavishly - vaccines are safe. So it is not surprising that most people accept that vaccines are safe.

So which side is putting the lives of people at risk? Those who are giving people vaccines containing mercury, or aluminium, and other substances known to be poisonous? Or those who are encouraging people not to accept vaccination, thereby denying them access to vaccines that are, apparently, so effective and 'entirely safe'?

  • Those who argue the former are asking for a debate, an open examination of the evidence. 
  • Those who argue the latter insist that they are right, that they should not be questioned, and that to do so creates 'a threat to daily life'.
I, and many other people, believe that vaccines are harmful to health. This is not 'fake news'. It is not 'disinformation'. All we ask is that the issue and the evidence is debated, openly and honestly, by the mainstream media. We may be wrong. Our arguments may be shot down in flames by the conventional medical establishment. If so, fine. The problem is not fake news it is no news, it is media censorship that bars discussion. Everyone should at least know the issues, the arguments, the evidence. Without it no-one can exercise an informed choice about vaccines.

At the moment people will have their lives destroyed either because they see something on social media that makes them decide not to accept vaccines that are a positive bonus as they keep us healthy, or because they have not heard about the evidence against vaccines, and their dangers. There is only one thing that needs stating, in a society that prides itself in being free.

Silence in not acceptable!

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Thalidomide. Still alive, kicking, and harming patients around the world to this day!

The magazine 'What Doctors Don't Tell You' (WDDTY) published an article on Thalidomide in its October 2017 edition. It gave the drug's timeline, which I reproduce here in order to draw out some of the salient features of how conventional medicine deals with pharmaceutical drugs that are known to be harmful to patients.

1953. Thalidomide is discovered in a German laboratory.
After the discovery of a new drug they are tested by medical science for both its effectiveness and safety, then approved by drug regulatory agencies. These agencies were not so developed then as they are today, largely as a result of the damage Thalidomide was later to cause.

1956. Thalidomide is launched as a prescription drug for anxiety and insomnia in West Germany.
The drug company conducted all the trials considered necessary at the time, which found that the drug was both effective and safe (they usually do), or they manipulated the trial results to indicate that the drug was effective and safe. In other words, and for whatever reason, medical science was unable to detect that there was anything wrong with Thalidomide.

1957. Thalidomide is made available as an over-the-counter drug (without a prescription) to east morning sickness in pregnant women.
I am aware that many people continue to believe that if a drug is available at the local chemist, or from the supermarket, they are safer than drugs that are available only with a doctors prescription. This is not so, and has never been so. I have blogged about this before. The most disastrous pharmaceutical drug, that was destined to do so much damage to unsuspecting patients, was mostly purchased at the local pharmacy!

1958. Up to 7,000 children in Germany are born with severe birth deformities. In the same year the UK introduced the drug on to the market.
Pharmaceutical drugs spread much quicker across the world than most viruses! Presumably the UK authorities also approved Thalidomide on as an effective and safe drug for patients, including pregnant women, and certainly the drug companies were eager to profit from it as soon as possible.

1961. Thalidomide is taken off the market in most Western countries, with at least 10,000 babies born with severe deformities; unofficial estimates put the figure at 100,000 cases.
It took over four years for medical science, and the drug regulatory authorities, to determine that one of their approved pharmaceutical drugs was causing this devastation. It is important to bear in mind that whilst ALL pharmaceutical drugs are tested for safety, it takes this length of time, sometimes longer, to discover that they are not safe, even when the consequences of taking Thalidomide are so blindingly obvious!

1962. Canada is still prescribing the drug. The drug also remains available in Spain throughout the 1970's and 1980's.
This is an amazing feature of pharmaceutical drugs. They can be banned in one country but continue to be sold in others. It is a regular feature of drug histories, it happens all the time, with lots of unsafe drugs. This suggests that either the drug regulatory agencies do not speak to each other, or that they make their decisions based on some kind of bogus 'benefit-risk' calculation that comes up with a different answer! Thalidomide was as dangerous in Canada and Spain as it was in the UK.

As far as the pharmaceutical industry is concerned, it demonstrates that they are quite willing to sell any drug, however dangerous, anywhere in the world, and despite the damage they know the drug to be causing.

1965. Thalidomide is licensed in Brazil for erytherma nodosum leprosum (ENL).
Most people assume that when a pharmaceutical drug has been found to be harmful to patients, and has been banned because it has caused the kind of horrendous damage to human life as Thalidomide, drug companies are still quite happy to sell it, and find other reasons for selling it.

Of course, the drug was not sold as 'Thalidomide'. The name was changed, presumably so that patients were not aware of what they were taking. It is a diabolical corruption!

1998. Thalidomide is approved in the USA for treating ENL.
If dangerous drugs can be approved in the USA, where pride is taken in their drug regulatory system (perhaps inappropriately) they can be approved as safe and effective just about anywhere. Again, the drug is not called Thalidomide, even though the drug regulators would have known that what they were approving. It must be supposed that they were happy to go along with the deception!

The use of dangerous pharmaceutical drugs is allowed throughout the world, with drug regulatory agencies apparently keener to assist drug company with their profitability rather than performing their primary statutory function - to keep patients safe!

2008. Thalidomide is approved for use in the UK as a treatment for multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood.
There is no-where in the world safe from the exploitation of patients by the pharmaceutical industry, or the willingness of drug regulators to connive in that exploitation. No doubt medical science, and the drug regulation agencies, placed many restrictions on the use of the drug, although with what success is harder to fathom.

2010. The World Health Organisation pronounces that Thalidomide should not be used for any condition, as its use cannot be properly controlled.
For an agency that has also been so heavily infiltrated by the pharmaceutical industry this was a surprising and unusual decision. However, its advice was completely ignored!

2017. The UK approves the third spin-off drug from Thalidomide for treating multiple myeloma. Today, 48 countries actively use the drug.
Ask anyone whether they know about Thalidomide. Most people will know that it caused untold harm to thousands of children. Ask anyone whether they think that Thalidomide is still prescribed by doctors for their patients. Most people will say 'No'! So the moral of this timeline is clear.

  • Patients are NOT protected from dangerous pharmaceutical drugs by medical science, or by the Drug Regulatory system. 
  • The Pharmaceutical industry will sell their drugs to anyone, anywhere in the world, in the full knowledge that they are dangerous, but caring more about their profits than patients.
  • Doctors are willing to prescribe these drugs, whether in ignorance, or on the 'evidence' produced by medical science, or just with the authority given by a drug regulator.
  • The entire conventional medical establishment - governments, national health services, doctors, nurses - just go along with it.
So are you taking Thalidomide? Probably not, although it is now used for a wide variety of conditions, ranging from cancer, multiple melanoma, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis and ENL (leprosy).

But if you are taking Thalidomide, it will be called something else, perhaps an 'analogue' of thalidomide (not thalidomide, but something so damned similar as to make little difference). It will be called Lenalidomide, or Pomalidomide, or Apremilast, or Otezla, and no doubt a host of other names.

The conventional medical establishment should not be allowed to play these games with our safety. But they are! And they do!

We all need to search for safer and more effective treatments, practiced by more honest practitioners.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Concordia and Liothyronine. Monopolies both large and small within the Health Service

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has found that the drug company, Concordia, has overcharged the NHS for its thyroid drug, Liothyronine. The CMA said that in 2016 the NHS spent £34 million on its drug, liothyronine, whilst in 2006 it was just £600,000. The amount the NHS paid per pack rose from about £4.46 in 2007 to £258.19 by July 2017, a staggering increase of almost 6,000%.

So what is the problem? Has demand for the drug risen? Are there lots more people suffering hypothyroidism? No, all kinds of sickness is rising, but not by 6000% in 10 years! Has there been a supply problem then, some difficulty making the drug, an increase in the cost of making it? No, the CMA said the price rise took place despite production costs being "broadly stable".

               "We allege that Concordia used its market dominance in the supply of liothyronine tablets to do exactly that."

So this is yet another example of pharmaceutical industry profiteering. Nor is it an isolated incident of a drug company milking national governments, national health services, and patients. I blogged in October 2015 about the drug Daraprim and Turing Pharmaceuticals, which gained control over the drug and increased the price from $13.50 to $750, a rise of over 5,000%!

The strategy appears to be for smaller drug companies to gain control over a specific drug, and once in a monopoly position to exploit it for all it is worth.

The price change happened after the drug was de-branded in 2007, that is, the patent expired. Drugs are expensive under patent; but the government can cap the profits drug companies are allowed to make. Afterwards, drug prices usually fall. But not if the pharmaceutical industry takes action, and gives an individual company a monopoly in marketing the drug. This is what happened in this case, and the earlier one concerning Daraprim. Concordia was, until earlier this year, the only supplier of the drug, selling in in more than 100 countries. The CMA report commented:

               "Pharmaceutical companies which abuse their position and overcharge for drugs are forcing the NHS - and the UK taxpayer - to pay over the odds for important medical treatments."

And for some patients, in a country where conventional medicine is also a virtual monopoly, this has indeed become an important drug. The mainstream media produced several patients who have found the drug useful, and have been affected by the price hype. Owing to the cost, the NHS stopped doctors prescribing it, and these patients suffered as a result.

It is, of course, a good human interest news story, and most of the mainstream media reported it. What they did not report, or even suggest, was that this story demonstrates clearly that drug companies are essentially private business enterprises, interested mainly in maximising their profit. Producing drugs is not, for them, a philanthropic patient-centred exercise. Indeed, by hyping the price to this extent it is clear that the last people the company were thinking about were the patients!

Nor did the media ask what appears to be a natural question. How is it that within the pharmaceutical world one small drug company is allowed a monopoly over the manufacture and distribution of a drug? How is it that when an established drug comes off patent, and are 'debranded', its price can rocket? Apparently this is the CMA has challenged a number of drugs companies about. It is not an isolated example.

The company, Concordia, has stated that it did "not believe that competition law has been infringed", and that the pricing of  liothyronine had been conducted "openly and transparently with the Department of Health in the UK over a period of 10 years". However, earlier in 2017, Concordia was accused of pushing up the price of another NHS drug, hydrocortisone, by striking a deal not to compete with another firm. Their innocence, and the innocence of the pharmaceutical industry generally, seems to be highly questionable.

Moreover, the liothyronine case is not the only one being investigated by the CMA. The drug giants Pfizer and Flynn Pharma have been intestigated for excessive and unfair prices being set for the anti-epilepsy treatment, phenytoin sodium capsules, and it has imposed fines of about £45 million on a number of other pharmaceutical companies in relation to the anti-depressant drug, paroxetine.

All this raises another unasked question. If this is so, how is it that a government department, and the NHS, has not picked up on the profiteering? Has there been collusion, at a time when the NHS is getting deeper into crisis and bankrupcy? As I have argued at length elsewhere, the pharmaceutical industry is important to government because it is an important part of the British economy.

Yet as always the main unasked question is whether this drug is safe. Although the media produced patients who felt they had benefitted from it, the website outlines the side effects of the drug, some of them serious. It warns that any patient should get "emergency help immediately" if any of the following known side effects of the drug occurs:

               * Arm, back or jaw pain
               * changes in appetite
               * changes in menstrual periods
               * chest pain or discomfort
               * chest tightness or heaviness
               * cold clammy skin
               * confusion
               * decreased urine output
               * diarrhoea
               * dilated neck veins
               * dizziness
               * extreme fatigue
               * fainting
               * fast, slow, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
               * fever
               * hand tremors
               * headache
               * increased bowel movements
               * irregular breathing
               * irritability
               * leg cramps
               * lightheadedness
               * menstrual changes
               * nausea
               * nervousness
               * sensitivity to heat
               * shortness of breath
               * sweating
               * swelling of face, fingers, feet, or lower legs
               * troubled breathing
               * trouble sleeping
               * vomiting
               * weak pulse
               * weight gain
               * weight loss
               * wheezing

Monopoly is a major problem in the provision of health care services. A monopoly over the sale of a single drug can lead to cost of pharmaceutical drugs becoming exhorbitant. The monopoly of a single type of medicine within a national health service can lead to patients having to suffer the consequence of harmful and dangerous drugs, with patients believing that they are the only way to treat their illness.


Monday, 20 November 2017

The Dead Horse Theory. "When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount!"

The Dekota Indians had an excellent theory, and it is one that the many governments around the world which are struggling to fund their national health service, dominated by pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines, might benefit from learning. It is the 'Dead Horse'. The 14 points that follow clearly represents the current strategy many governments use, including the British government's policy towards the National Health Service.

The NHS is in constant crisis. It spends an enormous amount of money, mainly on pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines (= the dead horse), yet year by year demand for health services outstrips the supply. More money is then demanded, given, and spent on yet more drugs, but quite regardless of this, the crisis continues. The horse is, indeed, dead, and it has been dead for some time. The animal is, after all, over 70 years old, and it has been fed, almost exclusively, on pharmaceutical drugs during all that time! The NHS does not realise this, or if it does it ignores the wisdom of the Dakota Indians, and instead makes use of 'more advanced' responses!

1. Buying a stronger whip.
The NHS believes that it would be able to produce better outcomes for patients if staff could only be made to work harder, to increase their productivity.

2. Changing riders.
The NHS regularly changes it riders, managers are sacked who are just not good enough, and do not spend the money properly. It is important to employ better riders to manage the available resources.

3. Threatening the horse with termination.
The NHS cannot pursue this policy, as unfortunately, in this case, the dead horse has wealthy and influential backers, too powerful to be 'terminated'. However, it regularly terminates some drugs and vaccines because they are so clearly dead, but never the complete animal.

4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
NHS committees are rife, and have been vital to the NHS development. They study why the demand for health care continually outstrips supply, why offering more drugs and vaccines appears to lead to more sickness (invariably deciding it is due to patients getting older), and to come up with new ideas about how the NHS might function better.

5. Arranging to visit other countries to see how others ride dead horses.
The NHS regularly examines health services in other parts of the world. They usually find there is not much difference because they, too, are trying to ride the same dead horse! But some countries spend more of their GDP on health, so if only they could have more money too......

6. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
The NHS regularly seeks to lower standards, for instance, nurses doing the work of doctors, hospital beds being reduced, et al. This is not to save money, but to release more money to spend on reviving the dead horse with more pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines.

7. Re-classifying the dead horse as 'living impaired'.
The NHS, whilst hyping the value of every new pharmaceutical drug and vaccine, is at the same time trying to reduce patient expectations. Look at the NHS Choices website to see just how many illnesses and diseases there are for which, we are told, their is no treatment, no cure, no chance of recovery.

8. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
The NHS is an inefficient public enterprise, say some, and if more of the work could be contracted out to private companies the greater efficiency would ensure that the dead horse might be able to enhance health outcomes for patients.

9. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase the dead horses performance.
The NHS is constantly asking for new horses, new pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines to help them if their fight against disease. The one's they have may not work, the new ones just might be better.

10 Providing additional funding and/or training to increase the dead horses performance.
The NHS always needs more doctors and more nurses to provide even more health treatment to an increasingly sick population, treatments based, of course, on those that has been offered for decades.

11. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.
It is frequently said that the NHS is too 'top-heavy', that there are too many managers and administrators (people who do not give patients the drugs) and not enough doctors and nurses, who do.

12. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overheads, and therefore contributes substantially more than the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.
Unfortunately the NHS is totally committed to the most expensive of all medical treatments, so this is a difficult argument to make. However, it does regularly state that the newer drugs costs are too expensive, and that 'generic' cost less.

13. Re-writing the expected performance requirement for all horses.
The NHS has struggled for decades to keep waiting times (for a doctors' appointment, for A&E, for operations, for hospital beds) to a minimum. We are regularly told that unless more money is spent on the dead horse, patients must expect longer waiting times.

14 Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position of hiring another horse.
Most NHS managers and supervisors are former doctors who have spent their careers prescribing 'dead horse' drugs and vaccines to their patients. Why should they start recognising that the horse is dead after a lifetime of devotion to it?


Thursday, 16 November 2017

Yippee! Another Wonder Drug, this time for Breast Cancer! But does it stand up to media hype? And is there a better alternative?

The avalanche of new wonder drugs never seems to cease. There are only two other things seem to match the sheer numbers of these announcements:

  • the rise of the diseases these drugs are supposed to treat
  • and the profits of the pharmaceutical industry
Still, lets take a look at the two new wonder treatments for advance breast cancer. As I often do, I have used the BBC News feature to describe how they act as advertising agents for the drug company, Pfizer. They always regurgitate the press release, unquestioned and unexamined, as do the rest of our 'free' news organisations!

The BBC described them as 'breakthrough', 'life-changing' drugs, as usual. The news story is that they have now been approved for use in the NHS by NICE, which is not a surprise as they are funded by the pharmaceutical industry, and by people who have worked, or will work in the industry. The drugs are called palbociclib and ribociclib.

Palbociclib was approved in the USA in February 2015, Ribociclib in 2017. Apparently, these breakthrough drugs slow down advanced breast cancer to about 10 months, and can delay the need for chemotherapy. Even if the terms 'breakthrough' and 'life-changing' are supported by these claims is questionable, but certainly they come at a cost. The BBC reported that just one cycle of palbociclib, 21 capsules, £2,950, and for 63 tablets of ribociclib, the price is the same.

To support the case for the drugs the BBC used a patient who had used the drug (without using the word 'anacdotal'), the head of oncology at Pfizer UK, and a professor of molecular oncology from the Institute of Cancer Research, who was also a consultant medical oncologist, and the Professor who led the clinical trials. The latter said that "these drugs have allowed women to live a normal life for longer".

As usual, no-one from outside the conventional medical establishment was asked to comment. And on the Today programme, no questions were asked about the side effects of the drug. The website has produced these for both palbociclib and for ribociclib, at least those currently accepted, these being drug used sparingly over a short period, and with very few patients. For palbociclib they include:

  • body aches or pain
  • ear congestion
  • fever
  • headache
  • loss of voice
  • painful or difficult urination
  • swelling or inflammation of the mouth
  • trouble breathing
  • ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Anxiety
  • chest pain
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • fainting
  • fast heartbeat
  • sudden shortness of breath or troubled breathing

As usual, our mainstream media does not believe that patients are entitled to know about these. It is difficult to know how patients can make an 'informed choice' about whether to take these drugs, or other pharmaceutical drugs, without this knowledge. The only side effect mentioned was from the patient who had tried the drug "You get slight fatigue from it, but it was manageable..." was all she said, perhaps someone who had a better than normal experience of the drug, and perhaps someone put forward by the drug company for this very reason.

I would predict that in time the adverse drug reactions will be far worse that those already known. This has been the history of every pharmaceutical drug, and there is no reason to think that these drugs will be any different.

Breast cancer patients require treatment. And there is safer, and more effective treatment (providing a life expectancy gain far in excess of 10 months). It is homeopathy. I have written about it many times before, although this one was criticised for being 'anacdotal (something convention medicine does not do, of course)! First, cancer is often the end result, the 'side effects' of pharmaceutical drugs taken for other conditions. So to avoid cancer it is sensible to avoid these drugs. But in addition there is research evidence to confirm over 200 years of clinical outcomes, that homeopathy is an effective treatment for cancer. Yet the media is not interest, of course. So although Homeopathy might be able to provide effective treatment for cancer, including breast cancer, this is not considered to be a medical 'breakthrough', it is not considered to be 'life changing'.

But, of course, it is!